1. Why is this important?
    • Our eating and drinking choices impact our performance as workers, parents, friends etc. They affect our energy levels, our ability to hold concentration for long periods and our mood.
    • Maybe you have noticed this with some types of foods? You crave them then eat them even though you know before that you won’t feel great afterwards.

 

  1. And this is not just about too much food or the wrong kinds of food. Ever felt HANGRY?
  • If we don’t eat frequently enough, our blood sugar levels drop which has a direct knock on effect on our impulse control.
  • This means you are more likely to snap at somebody unnecessarily or say something you later regret.
  • It also means that when it comes to eventually satisfying your hunger that you may give in to the impulse to overeat. Ever put too much on your plate at that all you can eat buffet and left some behind?

 

  1. I apologies for my fuel analogy – here’s why I was wrong!
  • Fuel will keep your car running no matter what station you fill it at. But imagine filling up at an Esso garage meant you could skip traffic all day and that filling at Statoil meant you got stuck in the traffic – what would you choose? This analogy is taken from social psychologist Ron Friedman.
  • By feeling so busy with work we often fall into the trap of just looking at fuel as food. Unlike a car the type of fuel we choose matters to keep us feeling energetic and in good form.

 

  1. Here’s how our bodies turn different fuel into energy…
  • Our body turns just about everything we eat into glucose which provides our brains with energy to help us keep focused. Low glucose levels mean low energy levels resulting in a tough time concentrating and ignoring a rumbling stomach.

 

  1. Our bodies process different foods at different speeds. Why is this important from a health, wellness and performance perspective?
  • Some foods release their glucose quickly like bread, pasta, cereal and soft drinks. This means a quick burst of energy but then a slump. This is why eating a gauffre (Belgian Waffle 😊) gives you approximately 20-minutes of alertness followed by a crash.
  • On the other extreme foods that are high in fat but that also contain some protein like deep fried chicken wings provide more sustained energy. However, there is a big CAVEAT with these foods. They also require our digestive system to work harder meaning less oxygen to the brain and a groggier feeling. Just think back to the last heavy lunch which you ate and the food coma that afternoon.

Make sure to check out my corporate workshop page for details on my presentations on optimal nutrition, hydration and energy throughout the working day as well as so much more. Click here to access.

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